Press Release: ZEGO Joint Venture Awarded $3M Grant by the USDA


ZEGO, Snacktivist, and Montana Gluten Free Collaboration Awarded $3M Grant to Expand Organic Gluten and Allergy Free Processing, Products, and Supply Chain Transparency


San Francisco, March 14, 2024 – Today the USDA awarded an Organic Market Development Grant to ZEGO, supporting its new joint business venture with Snacktivist and Montana Gluten Free to expand organic value-added grain processing and consumer access for people with medically-tailored diets.

The Organic Market Development Grant (OMDG) program supports the development of new and expanded organic markets to help increase the consumption of domestic organic crops. ZEGO was awarded a $3M grant to expand and improve the organic, gluten-free, high protein grain supply chain. This includes the promotion of purity protocol high protein oats and proso millet, processed at the Montana Gluten Free (MGF) facility and grown in Montana and surrounding states. 

By opening new sales channels, developing new products, and providing co-packing for values-aligned brands, this grant will enable the organic supply chain better serve the over 85 million people in the US with medically tailored diets due to allergies, gluten intolerance, or diabetes—who have very limited access to organic productsand many millions more seeking to lower toxin exposure.

As part of the project, ZEGO is partnering with the tech company Viiision to expand its Purity Verification system to all ingredients and co-packing done at the MGF facility. All food handled within the facility will be enabled with traceability to 3rd party lab reports for gluten and toxins like pesticides, heavy metals, and glyphosate levels.

“The brands in our collaboration will provide the demand pull for the value-added grains grown by regional farmers. Our farmers can increase their income four-fold compared to conventional farming, all the while building their soil health and breaking disease cycles by expanding their rotation crop diversity.

Even more, special diet consumers will have access to more healthy organic products that meet their medical needs, and everyone’s confidence in organic food will grow with our expanded Purity Verification and traceability.

That’s just a lot of wins, and we can’t wait to get started.”

According to Kavanagh, their OMDG-funded project is part of their novel business model  she and Joni Kindwall-Moore of Snacktivist developed called a Collaborative Integrated Value Chain (CIVC) that weaves together solutions for all the layers of the supply chain.

“We are so appreciative the USDA has taken this assertive action to support critical organic infrastructure that not only supports farmers and consumers but also contributes to our national food system security,” said Kindwall-Moore.

In addition to the grant activity, CIVC will also build a value chain for a new category they coined as “clean conventional,” which is regeneratively grown, purity tested ingredients that are clean but have not yet achieved organic certification. This work is being funded in part through strategic, values-aligned DAF donations and  investments.

Brands interested in acquiring U.S. grown, bulk, purity verified, gluten-free oats and millet or seeking copacking to meet the needs of the gluten-free, allergy-free, and corn-free community can visit the ZEGO booth 8604 at Expo West 2024 or email the CIVC team directly.

For more information visit,, or contact (415) 622-8115 or (406) 334-1608 




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